Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 12th September 2015
Match report: Darren Pasley. Pics: Stuart Tree
Casuals recorded a much needed win as they reaped the rewards of a dominant second half display in overcoming Peacehaven and Telscombe 3-1.
It wasn't the best of starts to the afternoon and in particular Danny Dudley as his weak clearance allowed Chamel Fenlon to steal in and burst into the box in the 3rd minute. The ball broke into the path of visiting captain Jamie Brotherton who rifled home from just inside the box to give the Sussex side the lead.
It cemented what was already a flat King Georges Arena going into the kick off and in the opening stages Casuals struggled to create against a hardworking Peacehaven defence with themselves looking dangerous when breaking
Jack Rowe-Hurst came close to adding a second in the 25th minute when playing a one two with Fenlon the striker’s effort appeared to be heading in with Bracken beaten but the award of a corner indicated Dudley had perhaps got back to get a vital deflection and going some way to atoning for his earlier error.
Despite creating few chances Casuals equalised in the 36th minute as Juevan Spencer skipped down the left hand side and after getting to the byline rolled the ball across for Emil Salama to arrive between 2 defenders and tap home from 3 yards out.
This sparked the home side into life and Spencer found himself in behind the back four after Ross Defoe’s precise lofted pass but was denied when attempting to lift the ball over keeper James Broadbent, who was making his debut for the visitors.
On the 131st birthday of the club, Casuals emerged for the second half a different proposition sensing the vulnerability and also fitness of their opponents.
It was pretty much one way traffic for the duration and Emmanuel Akokhia was first to test Broadbent in the 52nd minute when he got a shot away on the turn from 18 yards. The keeper equal to the effort and also holding on well with Spencer in close attention.
Josh Uzun featuring in a more advanced position created two chances with his set piece delivery. Firstly finding an unmarked Salama who perhaps should have nodded the ball back rather than heading straight at the keeper and then a free kick closer in which he curled just wide of the left hand upright.
On 68 minutes Akokhia was replaced by former Gambia youth international Cherno Mendy and the skillful front-man's introduction paid immediate dividends.
After breaking from the back, Referee Maskell played a good advantage after Spencer was taken out on the half way line and Uzun spread the ball wide to Mendy who skipped past Lira and fired a low shot into the bottom corner.
Casuals continued to press with Peacehaven offering little and doing their best to stay in the match. Broadbent being kept busy firstly tipping over a goal-bound Uzun corner which had caught the wind and then spectacular diving to keep out Dudley’s volleyed effort.
It seemed a formality that a third goal would arrive and it duly did so in the 75th minute. Josh Uzun who had a fine afternoon showing brilliant improvisation on the edge of the area to tee up the ball and volley into the path of Spencer. The in-form winger took a touch and clipped home a left footed shot from just inside the area which deceived the keeper.
Broadbent continued to keep the score down as he denied Salama after being linked in by Brandon Johnson but his efforts were in vain as his side were well beaten.
After the match, manager James Bracken was relieved and pleased with how the side came back from one-down.
“I know what the problem has been in the last few games but today we’ve gone out and played well and it’s great to be back to winning ways.
“After the last twenty minutes of the last match (a 4-1 loss to Dorking Wanderers), the worst thing that could’ve possibly happened was to concede an early goal and in that manner, through another error inside three minutes.
“You stand there and you think ‘I’ve just given what I feel is a good team-talk and set us up in a way where I believe we can win’ and then three minutes into the game, our opponents score and it throws it out the window. It’s then down to the players as to what they can achieve before I can get them in at half time.
“You do feel if their heads drop, then we could be two or three down by half time. But they haven’t dropped… they’ve got back on it. We’ve got a young team and these are all learning experiences.
“I hope they learned something from the defeat on Tuesday and today they’ve realised that if they keep themselves in the game after conceding early, there’s a long way to go to turn it around and win.
“Bringing Cherno (Mendy) on was a great substitution, wasn’t it? And the first goal came from the instant we swapped the wingers over where one crosses to the other and scores! If I make decisions like that and they come off then that’s great… but in all seriousness, Cherno gets the credit. He’s had to be patient in terms of getting an opportunity, not through my doing, but other reasons and he’s come in today and shown us a little glimpse of how good he could be.
“We travel to Guernsey on Saturday which is a long day, so I’ll have input to make sure they look after themselves as well as possible throughout. It’s a long day… but not a massively long day. We’re not talking about 14 hours travelling… just a couple of hours. The group is mature enough to rest well and hopefully we can go there and pick up another three points.”